Via my homie Carla Murphy, I came across this MS. interview with DePauw’s Tamara Beauboeuf-Lafontant, Ph.D., author of the new-ish book, Behind the Mask of the Strong Black Woman. The good doctor clarifies why the seemingly positive Strong Black Woman identity doesn’t serve us well:
A strong black woman is a woman who expresses a lot of fortitude, a deep wealth of caring and a lot of persistence—those can be seen as noble qualities. [But] they were used against us during slavery and I think they continued to be used against us by the white community and by black patriarchy. You can extort a lot of work from people who subscribe to the notion that they are strong and invulnerable. (Emphasis mine.)
What I love about this quote: She defines, in plain language, what the Strong Black Woman identity embodies. Then she places those positive, sensible and HUMAN traits within the perverse parameters of slavery, white supremacy (my term, not hers), and black patriarchy (her term, not mine; still sorting that out, will track back in another post). Good ish.